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unattended streams

I haven't been following the list's exchanges on this topic but was woken
up by the subject line on al bregman's recent posting, and spotted his
request for an online version of my work. Unfortunately there isn't one,
but the article in question has been published as:

R.P. Carlyon, R. Cusack, J.M. Foxton, and I.H. Robertson (2001). "Effects
of attention and unilateral neglect on auditory stream segregation",
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27,

I am happy of course to mail reprints, or to email a Word version of the

In terms of reconciling our results with other findings, I would say the
following: What we did was to give subjects a demanding auditory task in
one ear during the 1st 10 seconds of a streaming sequence presented to the
opposite ear. When subjects switched attention to the streaming sequence
they reported much less segregation than in a task where they attended to
the streaming sequence throughout. This shows that diverting attention can
greatly reduce the build-up of streaming. However, a less demanding task
(or perhaps one in another modality) may allow SOME streaming to build up.


bob carlyon
Dr. Bob Carlyon
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
15 Chaucer Rd.
Cambridge CB2 2EF
Phone: (44) 1223 355294 ext 831
Fax:   (44) 1223 359062
email: bob.carlyon@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk